Tropical Flower Mania

Tropical Flower Mania

May 19, 2022 — Yesterday was tropical flower mania day. I shot (with my trusty iPhone) every tropical flower I passed wherever I was passing all day long. From the Grand Wailea which is across the road from our condos, to the walk to get there, to the streets of Makawao, where we went for an excursion, I was in tropical flower mania. Hibiscus, frangipani, plumeria, bird of paradise, ginger, orchids, and so many more. I really enjoyed the last two petite paintings which I did of flowers and am hoping to have plenty of photos to do more of this when I return. A flower break between large paintings. Speaking of which, oh, how I miss painting! I was actually wishing I was back home yesterday for that very reason. One more week to go. O, cruel world! 

Tropical flower mania revealed in this plumeria closeup.
Tropical flower mania, one of dozens of photos of flowers yesterday. Plumeria closeup.

I’ll let the Artful Gents tell you more about tropical flower mania here on Maui.

The Yellow Hibiscus flower (shown on left) became Hawaiis official state flower in 1988. The island of Maui recognized Locality Rising (Maui Rose) as its official flower of the island. The vibrant, colorful flowers, with shades that range from bright pinks to whites, came to symbolise Hawaii, and the yellow hibiscus, also known as pua alo alo, serves as its State Flower. The native yellow Hibiscus flower, (Hibiscus brackenridgei) or mao hau hele in Hawaiian, is Hawaiis state flower. The Ohia lehua is an endemic to the islands, the official flower of the Big Island of Hawaii.    Show Source Texts

The tough, colorful Ohia lehua (five species are native to the Hawaiian islands, with red lehua flowers being the official flower of Oahu), is known for being the first plant that began growing in the barren flow of lava following volcanic eruptions. Few flowers are more synonymous with the islands to humans than the perennially popular plumeria, though this plant is found around the world, and is not native to Hawaii. Visitors and residents arriving in Hawaii are often welcomed at the airport by a plumeria lei. Maui is home to a number of botanical gardens, where a wide variety of flowering plants and trees, both native and introduced, are displayed.    Show Source Texts

The next time you are in Hawaii, check out Mauis Tropical Gardens to experience some of the finest Floras the world has to offer. Many of the flowers mentioned throughout this blog can be seen growing at botanical gardens throughout Hawaii — check out a list of our favorite gardens to visit at the end of this post. There are plenty of beautiful tropical flowers to keep you reminded of warm, sunny days spent on the islands. Hibiscus flowers are found everywhere around the islands — from roadside lei stands, to community gardens, to hiking trails, to along many beaches.    Show Source Texts

With Hawaiis brightest colors and sweetest scents, these blossoms are sure to take you to the sun-drenched oases. While many of these flowers are not native to Hawaii, they have become omnipresent in landscapes, used to make lei, and associated with Hawaii in art and pop culture. Plumeria trees, brought to Hawaii by a German botanist in the 1860s, are blooms that you pin behind your ears as you walk out for lunch, and, if you are a kamaaina, flowers that you reach for when it is time to make a lei for birthdays, babies first birthdays, or graduations. Native to Hawaii, the Hawaiian gardenia – or nau – is one of the islands most fragrant flowers; found in clusters, its fragrance is virtually a presence unto itself.    Show Source Texts

Hawaiis Most Famous Flower, Plumeria is known for the heady fragrance of the Hawaiian most famous flower, as well as for being used for lei-making. Ginger is not native to Hawaii, but it is a flower with many varieties that are used in lei and in cutting floral arrangements. With four different varieties blooming across Hawaii, it appears in lei designs and gardens, lacing many romantic nights with its irresistible scent. Originally from South Africa, this iconic perennial, blooming with colors resembling tropical birds taking flight, is very popular on the islands today, particularly in cutting floral arrangements, due to its long-lasting blooms and exotic colors.    Show Source Texts

The state flower is found higher up on the islands of Molokai, Lanai, the Island of Oahu, and the Island of Hawaii, and is also found in yards belonging to Hibiscus enthusiasts, but if you spot one in the wild, do not pick one – it is listed as a threatened species in their natural habitat. You can find the Birds of Paradise at most nurseries and flower shops, as well as on many of the hiking trails that lead up to Hawaiis waterfalls, such as the popular Akaka Falls Trail on Oahu Island and Road to Hana on Maui.    Show Source Texts

From the proteas grown on Maui, to exotic tropical flower varieties, to orchids, only the finest flowers that Hawaii has to offer are selected for you and shipped from Mauis shores to your doorstep. Flowers are shipped 2 days later for U.S. shipping… Florists deliver Mondays & Tuesdays. Flowers are shipped overnight, that is a one-day shipping on the West Coast of America, or a two-day shipping on the East Coast.    Show Source Texts

They came in a heavy-duty bag (14 pounds, if that gives you a sense of how big that arrangement is). We are familiar with Mauis Good Flowers, having stayed in a home in Hana that provided them flower arrangements for guests to decorate their homes. Whether Hawaiis flowers are blooming out your Airbnb window, thriving in the wilds of Hana, or thriving at the farms of boutique hotels, Hawaiian flowers–wild, varied, and sometimes aggressive–add substantial value to Hawaiis magic.    Show Source Texts

While awapuhi grows abundantly across the islands — with these roses and reds dominating much of the resort land — the blue ginger, or Dichorisandra thyrsiflora (which you can see on Maui Tropical Plantation, among a host of other lovely vegetation), is a more rarified experience. Native to Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America and the Caribbean, Anthurium is another ornamental flowering plant widely grown in Hawaii.    Show Source Texts

Heliconia gets its name from the Greek God Helicon, who is said to reside on Mount Olympus, which is home to many such flowers. The family of flowers, Protea, is named after the Greek God Proteus, who was capable of changing his appearance at will. The flower of Proteus.    Show Source Texts

The flowers of pikake are small and dainty, and have a sweet scent that is like that of plumeria. The Hawaiian name for jasmine, pikake, translated as peacock, was beloved of the Hawaiian princess, Keaulani, who named the flower after her favorite bird. The Hawaiian princess, Keaulani, is cherished.    Show Source Texts

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Lauren Forcella

Lauren Forcella

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About Lauren Forcella

Painting nature is my way of being devotional to this beautiful planet we’ve been born to. I strive to bring onto the canvas the livingness, aliveness, and wildness of this wonderland we call Earth… Read More

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